It has been two very long years but in the here and now of late October 1987, Kirk Hudson is finally home in California. While his stepdad, Philip, is not pleased he is back that attitude is not shared by the rest of the family. His mom, Emily, and his identical twin brother, Ben, are ecstatic that Kirk has finally left the religious cult in Texas and is home. Kirk isn’t ready to talk about the cult, known as Celestial Village, or why he left, but they don’t care about that right now. They are just happy he is home.


It does not take long for that happiness to be shattered. Soon Ben is murdered, Ben’s finance is held hostage, and to save her Kirk is forced to return to the cult. A cult led by a brother and sister who are planning for the end of the world in a few short days.


Shifting in point of view from Kirk, to family members, to various cult members, and others this fast paced novel by Texas author Jan Christensen weaves a dark mystery. Leadership within the cult is beginning to fracture, Kirk and his family are under tremendous stress, and unbeknownst to nearly everyone is the plan of the cult leadership. Something known as “Transfiguration Day” is coming far sooner than anyone expected.


A good story that shows the dark side of religious extremism and mental disorders, Revelations: A Darker-Side Mystery moves at a rapid pace to its climax. The mystery of why Kirk left is what drives the majority of the book before being morphed into what the cult leadership is planning taking over the remainder of the book. Though the novel is set in twelve days in late 1987, this fiction read could easily happen today, next year, or at any time.


Like most books that rely on psychological suspense, as this mystery primarily does, dysfunction on many levels is at work here. Dysfunction in Kirk’s family as well as dysfunction in the cult, leadership and lower levels, underpins most of the psychological suspense. It also is the background of a sexual relationship between two characters that may disturb some readers. Not so much in terms of the descriptions of what is done, but the fact that these two specific people are involved with each other. It is difficult to say more as this is a major plot point of the book.


By the end of the book some things are resolved while others are not. The fact that some things are not tied off as well as the subtitle give the reader the impression that this book is the first in a planned series by the author. If so, the series should be interesting.


Revelations: A Darker Side Mystery

Jan Christensen


ISBN # 978-1477684009

June 2012

212 Pages

Paperback (also available in e-book)



Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

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